Foresight Methods: Introducing Our New Article Series

Futures Platform's new article series will familiarise you with various foresight methods and walk you through how you can use them.

August 3, 2021, Max Stucki

By analysing data from various sources, foresight methods help make sense of today's world, make assessments about the world of tomorrow, and proactively answer to the opportunities and challenges that will define the future. In this introduction, we will discuss why foresight is necessary and how it helps you keep up with continuous change.


Our operating environment is increasingly VUCA; Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. Changes come in forms that can be hard to discern and interpret. The increasing speed of change creates volatility, which has become a characteristic of the modern world.



The rapid ongoing change processes also cause uncertainty. Tracking the course of change becomes more and more demanding due to complex cause and effect chains in our interconnected world. On top of all this, ambiguity is created through the perceived multiplicity of competing and often contradictory explanations of things, which leads to the risk of erroneous interpretations.

Hence, the VUCA nature of the modern environment makes it a necessity for organisations and businesses to actively identify changes and analyse their impacts. Foresight methodologies can help you both in the identification and analysis processes.


horizon scanning


In the VUCA world, the change that will transform an industry or create new ways of operating often comes from somewhere else than the industry itself. Strategic foresight addresses this issue by taking a holistic view of various potential change drivers.

However, since there are thousands of change signals at any given moment, it is impossible to monitor everything on one’s own, which is why foresight is a collaborative practice. It makes use of knowledge of the crowds to alert you to things that are not currently on your radar. The more people in your organisation participate in identifying potentially interesting and transformative phenomena, the better your future sensing ability is.


Tap into your organisation’s future sensing abilities and collect signals across departments with a collaborative foresight solution. Start a free trial of Futures Platform today and invite your team to build future views with visually engaging radars.



Are you a Futures Platform user? Login to your account to discover the latest change signals and continue the collaboration with your colleagues.



The foundation of any foresight process begins with horizon scanning, which is the process of staying aware of your environment and collecting potential change signals that may affect your organisation’s future.


Futures Intelligence cycle


Done systematically, horizon scanning keeps one updated on potential upcoming developments in their industry. However, if done from a more holistic, cross-industry perspective, it also help organisations broaden their horizons, adopt new ways of thinking and doing things, and also helps them prepare for the out-of-the-box changes coming from other sectors.

The most advanced foresight practitioners have established continuous foresight processes that help them stay updated on potential stages. The continuous foresight process is a repeating cycle of collecting signals and processing them into useful information about the future.


New to foresight? It doesn’t take a big investment to take your first foresight steps. Download our e-book, Key Success Factors of a Foresight Program, for a step-by-step guide to establishing an impactful horizon scanning process in your organisation.



In the coming instalments of this series, we will introduce practical foresight methods and how you can start implementing them in your setting. We will cover, among others, Horizon Scanning, Futures Table, Axes of Uncertainty and Sci-Fi Prototyping. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive alerts whenever a new article is published.


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